Trust.Zone VPN review

A straightforward VPN with a well-designed Windows client

Main

Our Verdict

A cheap way to access P2P safely on unblock Netflix, but otherwise Trust.Zone doesn't have the power to compete with the top VPNs.

For

  • Low two-year price
  • P2P support
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Dedicated IP addresses available

Against

  • Below-average speeds
  • Few advanced features or settings
  • No iOS or Mac clients

Trust.Zone is a simple and straightforward VPN which tries to cover the basics, but is distinctly short in some areas.

There are 164 P2P-friendly servers in 31 countries, for instance. That might be enough for many people, but top competitors give you much more (ExpressVPN has 2,000+ servers.)

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The company offers a well-designed Windows client and has just added an Android app to Google Play, but there’s nothing for Mac or iOS. To use Trust.Zone on those or other devices, you'll have to set it up manually via OpenVPN or L2TP. That's a significant hassle, although the website does at least have plenty of instructions on how to do so.

This lack of platform support is probably why Trust.Zone supports only three simultaneous connections by default. If you're not using it on mobile devices, that'll probably be just fine, although you can add three further connections for $1.43 (£1.10) a month.

The monthly plan looks reasonable at $6.99 (£5.38), dropping to an effective $3.33 (£2.56) if you sign up for one year, or a rock-bottom $2.33 (£1.79) over two years

Unusually, you can also buy dedicated IP addresses in Australia, France, the UK and US from $2.33 (£1.79) a month. Only you will use that IP address, so you won't be as anonymous as usual, but there are advantages, too. Your IP won't be blacklisted because of someone else's actions, plus banking and other sites are less likely to raise alerts if you always have the same IP address. Furthermore, you’re more likely to be able to access streaming sites, and it'll be easier to run a server on your own PC.

Trust.Zone also offers a free 3-day test, but this restricts you to 1GB of data transfer, enough for minimal connection tests only.

Privacy

Trust.Zone's privacy policy is basic, but the content is clear. The company says it doesn't store any connection logs, usage data is anonymous, and there's nothing to connect particular actions or requests to your own public IP address.

This won't quite be the full story. The company restricts its free plan to 1GB of traffic, so at a minimum this requires recording the total bandwidth used. And enforcing a three-connection limit means there must be a stored record of connections associated to your account. But none of these need to be kept long-term, and even if they were, can't in themselves be used to determine what you were doing online.

The policy offers more reassurance by explaining that although DMCA notices of illegal file sharing are reviewed, 'since we store no connection logs, we couldn't associate a request with a customer identity even if legally compelled to do so.'

Apps

Apps

Sign up with Trust.Zone and a Setup VPN page gives you a download link for the Windows client, and links to manual setup guidance for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, DD-WRT, Xbox 360, PlayStation, Smart TVs, Amazon Fire Stick and more. 

There's a lot of installation support here, including ovpn links, certificate files, DD-WRT scripts and firewall rules, and more. That's good news if you were looking to set up multiple devices, although not much consolation if you were just after a simple Android app.

We opted to install the Windows OpenVPN-compatible client. This handled all the setup complexities for us, and was exceptionally easy-to-use. We quickly had the program auto-connecting to our preferred server on launch, and switching was as simple as clicking the Servers button and choosing an option from the list.

Locations

Locations were conveniently sorted into continents. If that still involves too much scrolling up and down the list, a Favorites system enables bringing your most commonly-used servers into one place.

The client isn't as good with low-level configurability. There's a kill switch, DNS leak protection (turned off by default, oddly), and the ability to change your OpenVPN port, but that's it.

We also noticed an odd problem where the client wasn't always able to find our IP address when we weren't connected to the VPN. The console would regularly display 'Updating...' for minutes at a time, rather than finding our real address.

The kill switch did correctly block internet access when we manually closed the VPN connection, though, ensuring our web traffic was always protected.

Netflix

Netflix

Trust.Zone's Windows client lists a UK server names uk-bbc.trust.zone, which we hoped meant it would allow us to stream BBC iPlayer content. But our hopes were in vain, and all we got was iPlayer's standard 'this content is not available in your location' message.

Trust.Zone did manage to unblock US-only YouTube content, but as that's just about the easiest task in the VPN world, we weren't overly impressed.

US Netflix is the real unblocking prize, of course. Trust.Zone has a special US Netflix location, reducing the need to try each server manually, and this allowed us to stream Netflix without any problems.

Performance

Performance

Trust.Zone's performance seems to have picked up a little since its poor results in our last review, with local UK servers averaging a very usable 55Mbps.

US speeds were more disappointing. Peak speeds were acceptable at around 40Mbps, but other servers were under 20Mbps, and others refused to connect at all.

Connection times were another issue, with the client regularly taking 15 seconds or more to get connected. Measuring long-distance speeds was particularly difficult as the client would regularly wait for a very long time, before failing with some kind of connection error.

Disappointing speeds aside, the client did at least protect our privacy well. Testing showed it allocated IPs in the locations we requested and reliably prevented WebRTC and DNS leaks.

Final verdict

Trust.Zone's disappointing speeds, minimal features and lack of any iOS or Mac clients are major problems. But if you're looking for P2P support and Netflix, the service could be good enough, especially with its bargain $2.33-a-month (£1.79) 2-year plan.